Crow Pose / Bakasana
Step by step
- Start in Malasana / Squat pose with the feet apart, knees wider than your hips.
- Place your hands flat in front of you on the floor as if you were in Downward Facing Dog - middle finger pointing forward and with your fingers spread.
- Firm your hands down, pressing through the whole of the hand and your finger tips.
- Keeping your elbows bent, lift the hips high.
- Place your knees on the back of your upper arms as high up as you can, or squeeze the outer upper arms with your knees. Hug the knees and elbows into your mid-line, exhale and round strongly through the upper back drawing your side waist up, using your abdominals.
- Then, squeezing in and up, bring the weight forward so the elbows end up straight over the wrist, bent at 90 degrees.
- Inhale, reach the heart forward and let one foot come up, then bring the other to meet it if possible. Bring the heels and big toes together.
- Stay for about 5/10 breaths all the time pressing firmly through the hands to feel the rebound lift.
- Exhale and come back into a squat position when you are ready.
- Increases the strength in the wrists, arms, shouders.
- Strengthens the inner thighs, abdominals and core.
- Stretches the upper back.
- Opens the groin.
- Over time this pose will make you feel strong and confident.
- Fear is often the biggest obstacle when starting with arm balances like Crow Pose so it can help to have a cushion under your face at first while you are getting used to it. You probably won’t use it but it’s there!
- You can start with raising just one foot keeping just the toe of your other foot to the floor.
- You need strength in the upper body, wrists and core for this pose so build it up by working on your Chaturanga and Plank poses.
- Your back and hips also need to be warmed up to help them release in this pose. You can practice these actions first in Happy Baby Pose.
- See the Try it in class section for more tips.
Watch out for
- Make sure that your wrists are properly aligned for Crow Pose. This is particularly important as once you get lift off in the pose it can become a little addictive!
- Your upper arms - it’s common to get bruises on the backs of your arms when you are starting out with Crow Pose. As you develop lightness in the pose through practice this will lessen. If it is particularly painful place your knees to your outer upper arms instead of resting on the backs of them.
- Over time work on lifting the heels up towards the buttocks.
- Work on keeping the arms straight and the knees higher.
- Crow Pose is a gateway to all the other arm balances and can be used in transitions between poses such as Tripod Headstand
- Complementary poses
- Try it in class